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Wool shoes – It’s new, it’s audacious! Inspired by the Russian Valenki’s.

How it all started

The Baabuk adventure started with a pair of traditional Russian Valenki shoes found two years ago under the Christmas tree. 

On the spot, we fell for these shoes because: 

1) They truly keep your feet warm.
2) They are made of 100 % wool.
3) They are the most environmental-friendly foot attire we have ever seen. 

Being inspired by their uniqueness, we got excited and decided to create Baabuk shoes; reviving the old Valenki tradition through modern design.

nitially it was a hobby. None of us was either a shoe manufacturer nor in the wool business. We did it for fun during evenings hours and weekends. Every time we had a hurdle, we invested more time, money and energy to move forward..... until we got to the final Babukk shoe. 

Looking backwards, we spent 1'000 hours of hard work and invested all our last 2-years savings this project.

Now we want to incredible momentum going! We quit our corporate work live – all for Baabuk ! We want to dress the world up with Baabuk. To do so, we need your help and passion!

Baabuk Fundamentals:

Baabuk shoes are natural and handcrafted. They combine old know-how with modern and appealing design. Today, the Baabuk brand consists of 100% wool shoes, both indoor and outdoor, for adults and children.

Baabuk keeps your feet warm and is a natural cure for foot odor. The shoes are molded in one seamless piece - no stitches.

The difference between a traditional boot and Baabuk.
The difference between a traditional boot and Baabuk.

Each shoe is unique – we use natural and recycled materials for hand-crafting Baabuk. To make the body of the shoe, we only use water, soap and pure wool. For the sole, we use either leather, natural rubber or recycles tires.

Some history about Valenki

“All new is a well-forgotten old.” (Russian Proverb)

Throughout history, the need to cope with the cold climate in Russia’s countryside has produced some interesting inventions. After trying several ways to keep their feet warm, Russian peasants came up with the idea of using sheep’s wool to produce felted boots, now known as valenki.

The production of valenki began at the end of the 16th century. It was a result of scrupulous and time-consuming handwork. At that time, these wool shoes were both expensive and fashionable. Valenkis were producted only in the winter time. Production started after the autumn harvest lasted through Easter, when cattle went out to pasture again.

Valenki were worn inside and out, and served to protect feet even in the -40C Siberian cold. They are a part of Russian traditional dress that transcends classes – Russian leaders, soldiers, kids and peasants have all worn valenki. What is unique about how we produce Baabuk : Unlike traditional shoes, Baabuk shoes are felted in one piece, without seams or stitches. It makes the production process more complex but the shoes warmer and more comfortable. 

10 reasons to love Baabuk: 

What is unique about Baabuk production process

We wanted to create a pair of shoes that really keep your feet warm and comfortable without any compromise. No marketing talk, no empty promises. 

Everyone can make flat wool layers and then stitch them. Nobody could help us to understand and set up the moulded production process. We had to acquire the knowhow and design our own machines to meet the targeted quality.

1. Wool:  About half a kilogram of wool is required to make a pair of shoes. Firstly, the wool is separated, washed and brushed.

2. Layer: The wool is prepared in several layers on special shoe shapes so that Baabuks can be feltered in one piece. Wool of different colors is mixed.

3. Felting: Wool, warm water and soap are manually rubbed  so that wool fibers interwine and buddle between each other.

4. Washing: The felted wool is placed into a washing machine for serveral hours at a high temperature. The wool shrinks then by 30%.

5. Hammer: The shoes are hit with hammers and brushes. This step is very important and physically demanding.The shoes become firm and water repellant.

6. Shape: Finally, the shoes are mounted on a shoe last and left to dry naturally for 2 days. The shoes takes its’final shape. The decoration process can start....

Why wool ?

In the recent years, many mountain attire companies are moving back from synthetic to wool fibers. And there is a good reason for that. The wool has unbelievable. It is a natural product, it auto-controls the temperature and absorbs the humidity.

Wool & Warm weather

Well-known for its warmth, it is less well known that the same properties make wool the ideal fabric for hot weather. The Bedouin tribes of the Sinai, where temperatures reach extreme heights, have been wrapping themselves in wool for centuries. The wool works as a condition buffer; in the heat cooling the body initially through managing the build up moisture vapour internally, keeping the wearer drier for longer. Then, by not clinging to the skin even when wet, the fabric allows the skin to still do it's job through sweating and cooling the body.

Anything I can do to help ? 

We have officially launched Baabuk the beginning of 2013 during the ISPO exhibition in Munich. The market showed an overwhelming reaction to Baabuk, we got our first orders in and an incredible inspiration to keep producing an excellent product.

At this point, we need your help to spread the word, to share Baabuk with retailers and wholesalers you may know, to put us in contact with journalists and bloggers and to talk to your friends and family.

Furthermore, we get constantly ripped off by shipment companies. If you know how to ship more cost efficient between Asia, Europe and US, please send us a note: friendsheep@baabuk.com 

Rewards

Thank you for your support!  

As a Backer, we have created 5 levels of support for you. Each level is in line with what we believe and what we do:

Rubber Level:
Baabuk believes in recycled materials as we are using recycled tires for our sole. We offer the choice between three different accessories made entirely out of recycled tire tubes.

Wool Level:
With the Baabuk slippers, you will never ever have cold feet. You have the choice between our top-lover slippers Gus and Maxime.

Silver Level:
We are currently developing our outdoor collection for men and women. We will share regularly the progress and seek for your feedback. At the end you will have the choice between four outdoor shoes (2 x ankle boot women & men, 2 x boot women & men).

Gold Level:
You and your family is about to become our Baabuk ambassador. We will offer you the Baabuk family pack that consists of 2 slippers and 2 boots of your choice.

Platinum Level:
You just made a place in our dream. For the next 10 years we will offer you a pair of Baabuk every year.

Backers selecting Rubber, Wool, Silver or Gold rewards will be contacted once our campaign ends to select your desired model and sizes.

We ship to most countries around the world. In case we have strange destination (e.g. embargo countries, South Pole, etc.) we will contact you after the campaign ends. 

If you'd like to order more than one pair, please add the amount for each additional shoes : 
- Wool (Slippers): $70 AUS (approx. 46 Euros / $63 USD)
- Silver (boots) : $150 AUS (approx. 100 Euros / 137 USD)

If you order more than 3 pairs of shoes, please add additional $ 20 AUS for   international shipping. 

If you'd like to oder in addition to the shoes some accessories, please add the amount for each additional item:  
- Rubber: $30 AUS (approx. 24 Euros / $27 USD)

Reward Gallery:

Key chain made out of 100 % recycled bike tube. The key chains is approx. 9cm long.
Key chain made out of 100 % recycled bike tube. The key chains is approx. 9cm long.
Mini purse made from recycled bike tube. We have turned the rubber upside down. The texture is rougher and feels almost like leather. It can hold up to 8 cards and a couple of bills.
Mini purse made from recycled bike tube. We have turned the rubber upside down. The texture is rougher and feels almost like leather. It can hold up to 8 cards and a couple of bills.
Same as the purse, we have done an iPhone 4 & 5 / iPod protector from recycled bike rubber. We have used the inside of the tire outside. It's stylish and your iPhone/iPod will love the new look.
Same as the purse, we have done an iPhone 4 & 5 / iPod protector from recycled bike rubber. We have used the inside of the tire outside. It's stylish and your iPhone/iPod will love the new look.
Our top-lover wool slipper. One piece molded. The color is light grey. The sole is from natural rubber.
Our top-lover wool slipper. One piece molded. The color is light grey. The sole is from natural rubber.
Wool slipper from dark grey wool from New Zealand. The sole is from leather.
Wool slipper from dark grey wool from New Zealand. The sole is from leather.
We started to design this ankle boot for our female customers. We have not yet finalised all the details. Here some hints of what we want to do : shoe tongue in different colours, etc. We will share with you regularly the progress.
We started to design this ankle boot for our female customers. We have not yet finalised all the details. Here some hints of what we want to do : shoe tongue in different colours, etc. We will share with you regularly the progress.
We are still working on the model Tom. What we can tell you at this stage is that we will use mainly recycled materials such as recycled tire rubbers and bike tubes. A real environmental friendly shoe.
We are still working on the model Tom. What we can tell you at this stage is that we will use mainly recycled materials such as recycled tire rubbers and bike tubes. A real environmental friendly shoe.
Wool boot inspired by the japanese patterns from the beginning of the century.
Wool boot inspired by the japanese patterns from the beginning of the century.
You will be involved in the design of the next Baabuk Boot. The base of the Baabuk will be same as all our Baabuk shoes : 100 % wool one piece mold. We will develop different models and will ask for your opinion and feedback.
You will be involved in the design of the next Baabuk Boot. The base of the Baabuk will be same as all our Baabuk shoes : 100 % wool one piece mold. We will develop different models and will ask for your opinion and feedback.

Media

Media -> press@baabuk.com 

Size calculation

Our shoes cover the range from 27 to 46 (European size) / 10 (Children) to 13 (Adult) (US size). The shoes cover two sizes in one (e.g.39-40 is one size and fits from size 39 to size 40). As wool is a natural product it will take the shape of your feet. We recommend you take a bigger size.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

It's been two 2 years since we started making Baabuk shoes. Initially we had to learn a lot and we had to spent a lot of time, money and energy to become professional. Now we feel confident in the production process. We have very motivated, talented and passionate people taking personal risks to make this project a success.

We know you would love to put Baabuk Rewards under the Christmas tree this year. But unfortunately, the project will not finish in time. If we see that we have achieved our target by the 20th of December, we promise to send you a downloadable voucher that you can print out and put under the Christmas tree. Alternately, you can order directly from our website. We have a little shoe stock available to be shipped immediately.

For more information, follow us on www.facebook.com/Baabuk and at www.baabuk.com.

FAQ

  • Wool is a natural fiber that is naturally self cleaning. For major stain, let it dry first and then use a soft cloth to wipe it off.

    Last updated:
  • We shrink the wool fibers so much, that the shoes become naturally water repellant.

    However, in case the shoes are getting wet, just take them off and leave them to dry at room temperature. Do not put the shoes in a dryer.

    Last updated:
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  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (197 left of 200)

    Rubber Level: Many thanks for your support. Our Baabuk accessories are mainly manufactured from used bike tubes and they are as all our products handmade. You can choose between three rewards: 1) Key ring Handmade Unicums, 2) Purse for your cards and bills or 3) Cult iPhone- / iPod Protector. See Reward Gallery below.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 AUD to ship outside Australia
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    267 backers Limited (33 left of 300)

    Wool Level: You make your feet the best gift ever. You are getting a pair of Indoor slipper made out of wool. You can choose between two models : Gus and Maxime. See Reward Gallery below.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 AUD to ship outside Australia
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    38 backers Limited (162 left of 200)

    Silver Level: You are the first one to get our latest outdoor boots. Like all Baabuk's, the base of the shoe is done entirely out of wool in one piece. We will involve you in the design and ask for your opinion. You can choose between four models: Ankle Boot 'Capucine', Ankle Boot 'Tom', Boot 'Andorra' or the new Boot {tbc}. See Reward Gallery below.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $20 AUD to ship outside Australia
  • Pledge $330 or more
    You selected

    37 backers Limited (163 left of 200)

    Gold Level: OMG ! You are about to get the entire Baabuk Collection for the whole family. No more complains from the family about cold feet. You can choose two slippers and two ankle boots / boots. See Reward Gallery below.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $40 AUD to ship outside Australia
  • Pledge $1,200 or more
    You selected

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Platinum Level: You don't realized what just happened. You entered in our dream. To show you in-depth friendsheep, we will offer you for the next 10 years a pair of Baabuk every year.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $200 AUD to ship outside Australia
Funding period

- (26 days)